Plan Your Perfect Timeline: Upgrade From a HDB to a Resale Condo (No ABSD)

One of the biggest hassles when upgrading to a new home is managing the timeline.

Imagine this: you’ve sold your flat and are ready for your new resale condo, but the dates don’t align. Now, you’re stuck finding a temporary rental with a minimum three-month lease—stressful, inconvenient, and expensive.

Now, picture a smoother transition. With meticulous planning, your sale and move-in dates perfectly align. No temporary rentals, no double moves — just a seamless upgrade.

To make this happen, knowing the key dates and steps is crucial. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential milestones to ensure a hassle-free upgrade and a single, smooth move.

Timeline Schedule for Upgrading from HDB to Condo

Key Points in the Timeline:

  1. Start Early
    • Begin marketing your current property and searching for a new home simultaneously. This proactive approach helps ensure you’re not rushed into decisions.
  1. Negotiate for an Extension
    • Secure a three-month extension for the Date of Vacant Possession to hand over your flat on 7th January. This provides you with a buffer period for your transition.
  1. Secure OTP
    • Give the OTP for your flat on 1st October and secure the OTP for your condo on 23rd October.
  1. Exercise OTPs in Sequence
    • Exercise the OTP for your flat on 22nd October, followed by the OTP for your condo on 6th November. By timing these actions, you avoid paying the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD).
  1. Receive Sale Proceeds
    • Expect the cash proceeds from your HDB flat sale to arrive on 7th January. Plan for your CPF funds and the legal process of your condo to be completion on 28th January.
  1. Extend Condo OTP
    • Negotiate to extend the typical condo OTP deadline from 7th January to 28th January. This ensures you have adequate time and CPF fund to finalise all transactions and prepare for the move.
  1. Plan for Renovations
    • From 28th January to 6th April, reside in your flat while your new condo undergoes renovations. This timing allows you to move into a freshly renovated space without the need for temporary housing.

Why Does This Work?

1. Marketing the Flat and Searching for a New Home Should Be Done at the Same Time

Begin marketing your flat and searching for a new condo at the same time. This ensures that you’re not rushed into making decisions. A good agent can provide valuable advice on the market sentiment and help coordinate viewings.

2. The OTP for the Condo Must Be Exercised Only After the OTP for the Flat Has Been Exercised

Secure the Option to Purchase (OTP) for your flat before exercising the OTP for your condo. The OTP for HDB flats is 21 days, while private properties usually have a 14-day period. By exercising the condo OTP after selling your flat, you avoid paying ABSD.

3. Buyer Agrees to Extension of Stay

After your flat buyer exercises the OTP, wait for HDB’s confirmation, which takes up to 3 weeks, followed by an eight-week transaction completion period. Negotiate an extension to stay in your flat until 6th April, providing you enough time to complete your condo transaction and renovations.

4. Ensure a Three-Week Gap Between Transactions

Typically, the private property transaction period is 14 days to exercise the OTP and around 10 weeks to complete the purchase. In our scenario, negotiate to complete the condo transaction on 28th January, creating a crucial three-week gap between the sale of your flat and the purchase of your condo. This allows time for your CPF funds to be processed and drawn down for the condo purchase.

5. Timely Renovations

Plan for most or all renovations to be completed within two months. Start renovations from 28th January to 6th April, prioritising essential works so you can move in by the time your flat buyer takes possession.

Coordinating All These Steps Requires Seamless Communication and Collaboration Among Various Parties.

Imagine this: If everything aligns perfectly, you could save a significant amount of money. You won’t need to rent a temporary place or pay for storage. Plus, you’ll only have to move once, sparing yourself from the hefty costs of hiring movers multiple times — not to mention avoiding a major hassle.

But be prepared for some back-and-forth negotiations. For instance, your flat buyer might hesitate to delay their move-in because they have their own renovation plans. Similarly, the sellers of your new condo might ask you for an extension, finding themselves in a similar situation.

This is where having an experienced real estate agent comes into play. They can navigate these complexities and handle the negotiations on your behalf, ensuring a smoother transition for everyone involved. Taking the DIY route might seem tempting, but a seasoned professional can truly make a difference, turning a potentially stressful process into a streamlined and efficient one.

This careful coordination can lead to a seamless transition, saving you time, money, and a lot of headaches.

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